« Growthgasm! (No faking) | Main | Bringing forth fruit »

March 30, 2015

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

That is where we are indeed.

Some of today's most dangerous right wing ideas arise from Republicans who idolize Reagan but who were preadolescent when Reagan was elected. An interesting psychological profile would be trying to explain how this idolization developed.

Some of today's most dangerous right wing (left wing) ideas arise from Republicans (Democrats) who idolize Reagan (FDR) but who were preadolescent (born) when Reagan (FDR) was elected. An interesting psychological profile would be trying to explain how this idolization developed.

Today I read an interesting article on Ted Cruz written by a native Texan journalist. The theme was that Ted Cruz doesn't represent traditional Texan politics nor politicians such as LBJ or even Rick Perry.

One of the sub themes was that a conservative Democratic Texas was transformed into one of the reddest states by migrants from outside of Texas who arrived during the late 70's and early 80's changing Texas from a rural state into an urban one.

Sound familiar? The Arizona native born Goldwater apologists sing the same song.

Two questions:

1) If those racists from the midwest caused Arizona's right swing, why was the 1964 Voting Act applied to Arizona and traditional confederacy states and no other states?

2) Love of the death penalty, unchecked police power, prisons over schools, insane incarceration rates, and hatred for state provided social services in Arizona and Texas predate northern migration to the sunbelt which occurred with the collapse of the heartland industrial base.

The southwestern sisters Texas and Arizona have always been right of center in modern US politics. The demographic shift resulting from the collapse of the industrial base transferred
national political power south by southwest.

Native Arizonans and Texans: Accept responsibility for your right wing essence and stop blaming Latin and Northern immigrants for your states' political insanity.

Another great post by wkg....


FDR was right for the country WHEN HE WAS ELECTED. He was a great, great man and when he pushed the New Deal, how could he (or anyone) imagine what it would turn into in terms of costs and further expansion of the concept of a social safety net.

But we sure as heck can't get that genie back in the bottle.

Same with Reagan. Tax rates decreased, revenues increased, and the Soviet Union crashed. Right guy at the right time.

What would either do today?

They'd solve problems and provide leadership. But I can't imagine FDR not agreeing to some changes in social security (means testing/ higher retirement age?) and Reagan would probaly be softer on immigration that the hard right part of the GOP today.

Nixon?

Here's the problem. Much like Clinton's Lewinsky problem, you just don't know what else happened that we didn't hear about. It just makes it very difficult to trust them and it shows a significant personality flaw.

It's very, very difficult to compare Presidents over time. They are confronted with different challenges.

In terms of real policy, it's hard to argue with either Nixon's 6 (or so)years or Clinton's 8 years of "peace and prosperity". But given what happened (Wateregate/Lewinsky), I wouldn't vote for either to be dog catcher.

And in terms of rolling back the benefits that government has bestowed, I'm fine doing that. Or not. I just want them paid for.

In a previous posting, there was a pretty lively discussion about the federal deficit. Splitting the difference between Emil's numbers and mine, federal revenue would have to increase about 20% in order to just break even so that the accumulated deficit (73% of GDP) would not get bigger.

With no adverse economic consequences.

Who's in?

Gotta get that cut into Social Security to start chipping away at it, eh? I think the far right are fools who can't do basic economics. How much support of the elderly is social security and medicare responsible for increasing spending in the US?

I would note that the only business currently growing in Arizona during the recession was healthcare in real terms, and the increases in coverage and money spent after passage by the Brewer administration were real. In short, when I read drivel like what INPHX regularly quotes, I realize why Krugman has gotten so mean. Stuff like that is just damned foolish. And in a time where we still have very slow employment growth and lagging demand, we need to cut costs!!! Works for a business, but not an entire economy. Unless you really want to compete with China.

You do realize that the federal deficit right now is meaningless? If you don't understand how our federal debt underpins the entire world trade and financial system, then you need to spend some serious time with Barry Eichengreen's papers. Oh wait, that is not read by the folks who write ALEC's crap, or Cato's, or AEI's, or any of the other right wing bs machines.

What you talk about is something that could happen if we shut down the wars, and went back to a very limited engagement with the rest of the world.

And it ain't gonna happen. The world of 1885 is dead and gone, and all of this hard money fallacy at the base of it is just so much crazy.

It makes me tired, because we do a wonderful job of explaining it all in highly technical terms in the economics profession, and then nobody reads it in depth.

Rolling back "benefits"? let's start with US senators and representatives. And are education, health care and food stamps benefits?

The Berlin wall collapse was the economy, stupid.
Personally I thought Reagan was a not very smart puppet president and a terrible movie actor. He was a neocon enabler a criminal partner of the CIA and he ran up horrible debt. Teddy and Franklin were extremely intelligent individuals. Despite the great flaws in Nixon's personality he was much more humane than today's right wing and religious freaks

Lenny asked a couple of questions regarding a special kind of racism and conservatism from the Midwest. I'll attempt to address those concerns. I'll also add to this discussion that it isn't only "Goldwater Apologists" who blame Midwestern transplants for our insane politics today. However, many of our kookiest politicians are from the Midwest and elected in districts with a large percentage of transplants: thus, our concerns regarding Midwestern migrants aren't unfounded.

To ensure correctness I will be addressing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a separate but related piece of legislation.

1. Based on the "coverage formula" of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Arizona was included in the special provisions due to the fact that the state contained jurisdictions where more than 5% of the citizen voting age population are members of a single language minority group. Section 201, including a separate device defined in Section 4(f)(3) specified that any practice or requirement by which registration or election materials are provided only in English were unconstitutional. There is no doubt that Latinos, especially those whom primarily spoke Spanish, were pervasively discriminated against.
Source: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/misc/sec_4.php

2. "Love of the death penalty, unchecked police power, prisons over schools, insane incarceration rates, and hatred for state provided social services in Arizona and Texas predate northern migration to the sunbelt which occurred with the collapse of the heartland industrial base."

These are all relatively new to Arizona politics with the exception of the death penalty. Schools however, were often given priority in Arizona as defined in the state constitution where an education including university are to be provided to residents "as nearly free as possible".
Source: http://www.arizonaeducationnetwork.com/2012/02/public-education-and-our-az-constitution/

Another distinction that can be made between Arizona and Texas is that the Arizona electorate voted for Proposition 204 in 2000. Prop 204 "is a voter-approved initiative that expanded AHCCCS coverage to persons (effectively childless adults) with income at or below 100% FPL." This type of voter-approved initiative was twice approved by voters, first in 1996 by 72% of the vote, and again in 2000 by 63% of the vote. The 1996 initiative was not fully funded. By 1998 the Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco manufacturers allowed the state to fully fund AHCCCS. In 2002, voters approved Prop 303 by 67% of the vote. Prop 303 allowed the state to tax cigarettes. This provided a revenue stream for AHCCCS.
Source: http://www.narbha.org/includes/media/docs/Understanding-AHCCCS-and-Proposition-204.pdf

It is interesting to note that Arizona provided one of the best case studies for the Medicaid Expansion Policy: "Arizona offers the best comparison of the states reviewed. The state has been covering low-income childless adults since 2001, providing the same benefit package that is available to other Medicaid beneficiaries, with no ceiling on enrollment."
Source: http://www.chcs.org/media/Medicaid_Expansion_Policy_Brief.pdf

If the state constitution was penned today, with all of the kooky Midwestern emigrants taken into consideration, I doubt that education would be included. Our ALEC Legislature would prefer a "market based solution" in lieu of a public school system. With that in mind, there is no way that wording which includes "an education as nearly free as possible" would even be considered. Likewise, due to ALEC influence, voter-approved Medicaid expansion (AHCCCS) would be lambasted. ALEC is another great Midwestern invention. Although the organization is now based in Arlington, VA it was founded in Illinois.

Concern Troll and phxSUNSfan, excellent.

Did Reagan's tax cuts increase federal revenues?

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/reagan-and-revenue/

Forgot to mention. At least Ronnie wasn't insane such as the current Ted Cruzes of the world.
Eisenhower warned us and we forgot and ignored his warning. The Neocons are modern-day Attila Huns.

Rogue:

I don't know get your point.

It is a FACT that the revenues increased during the Reagan tax cuts.

From Krugman's article:

Actually, federal revenues rose 80 percent in dollar terms from 1980 to 1988. And numbers like that (sometimes they play with the dates) are thrown around by Reagan hagiographers all the time.

But real revenues per capita grew only 19 percent over the same period — better than the likely Bush performance, but still nothing exciting. In fact, it’s less than revenue growth in the period 1972-1980 (24 percent) and much less than the amazing 41 percent gain from 1992 to 2000.


So, yes. They increased in absolute terms, in inflation adjusted per capita terms ,and in any other metric anyone would care to use.

Krugman's typically biased analysis simply tries to explain away the increase, first by adjusting using per capita and inflation (fair enough) and then comparing it to other booms/ busts.

But by any meaningful criteria, tax receipts increase after the Reagan tax cuts.

Was there 100% bullet proof causation? Who knows.

Troll writes:

Unless you really want to compete with China.

Be nice if we had a choice......

Population growth is also a main concern of Krugman during this period. Tax receipts tend to increase when population growth is high.

If we compare rates from the 80s to the current rate, the U.S. population is growing at a historic low: a stagnant 0.7%.

If anyone here hasn't been to the Richard Nixon Library and Presidential Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., I implore you to visit. Regardless of politics it is a fantastically well maintained museum and really a wonderful study of not only the history of his era, but also of his upbringing and what it was like to grow up in early 20th century California. I could not recommend it more highly. It doesn't necessarily have to take all day, I'd say you could do a pretty decent tour in 2-3 hours.

I would love to hear everyone's feedback on other Presidential libraries they have visited, as someday perhaps when I am retired, I would really like to visit many or all of them.

INPHX, we absolutely have a choice.

We can implement tariffs, and scrap a significant portion of the free trade fantasy.

As for the funny part of it all, tax rates during RR's administration were higher than today!!!

So, of course they managed to take in more revenue.

We could also increase the taxes on capital gains to match that of earned income, and we could also force full compliance from the offshore illegal tax haven set. But that might just be tough on the rich. Boo hoo.

I usually have fun with conservatives by granting the possibility of a working Laffer curve, but then current evidence is we are on the bottom of the curve, now far below the inflection point of diminishing returns from increased taxation.

So, we can raise taxes, and spend the money domestically, and have a bigger economy- now does that conclusion blow your mind?

It should, because government has enabled tremendous gains in the US economy through spending and investment, inspite of the conservative fetish of gummint privatization and waste.

That is why I get tired, because of the fact that government spending is not conducted in a void, just like deficit spending is not filled by domestic savings in an international economy when your debt is the foundation of trade.

Troll:

Excatly which tax rates were higher during Reagan's watch than today?

Thanks


http://federal-tax-rates.insidegov.com/compare/72-103/1987-vs-2015

See a few for yourself.

If you look further, you will see the change in brackets shows that you have to earn a lot more to get to the top brackets today for income, and that capital gains has dropped significantly since 1987- and I would note I am comparing the post 1986 rates after significant overhaul.

The tables are a little difficult to do real comparisons, because of the changes in brackets- but I would note that today's top rate of 39.6% applies to dollars earned after $464k in adjusted income, and the 1987 38.5% rate kicked in at just $90k in adjusted income.

Cap gains is where the real winners are, and I assume that is the rate you really care about. Of course, if you manage to get some really good private equity deals, you too can have a
billion dollar offshore IRA that will most likely never be taxed, just a like a prominent past presidential candidate.

I would also note that the corporate tax code looks like Swiss cheese made in Wisconsin, so it does not exactly capture anywhere near as much tax as it used to do- Double dutch Irish much?

We allowed the folks to buy their loopholes, and we are surprised they got really rich from it?

INPHX – wrote Here's the problem. Much like Clinton's Lewinsky problem, you just don't know what else happened that we didn't hear about. It just makes it very difficult to trust them and it shows a significant personality flaw.
The Lewinsky problem? What more salacious detail would you like to know about Bill and Monica?
Ken Star used Monica for a political witch hunt, the most expensive ‘independent’ investigation in national history, to exploit her in a freak show that exposed Bill’s infidelity lie. This Republican episode is one of the most vile, distasteful deeds in modern politics.
Which says a lot about you.

Suzanne:

I need to know nothing more about Bill and Monica; that's not my point.

Let's see.

The most powerful man in the world takes advantage of a chubby, attention starved 23 year old, lies about it, throws his staff and his family under the bus while lying about it, gives his daughter a great lesson about men and what "marriage" means, most likely validates previous womanizing and adultery accusations, gets disbarred, probably costs Al Gore a shot at being president, and gives us all a lesson in how smart one must be to argue about what "is" is.

And to think that I suspect based on those facts, he may have been less than candid, honest, or trustworthy in other areas of his Presidential life.

Imagine that.

I guess that does say a lot about me.


BTW, what that maggot Eliot Spitzer did to Hank Greenberg makes Starr look like Mother Theresa.

Inphx, I never thought of Bill and Hillary as Democrats. Just Tyson Chickens that wanted to be the Roosters in charge. You know like the old horse said to the young stallion surveing the young mares.
It's all,
Kinda like AZ kooks calling themselves Republicans when they are really bigoted racist fascists.
Well, all that said,
I'm gonna get me an Elizabeth Warren bumper sticker to go with my "Love your Mother Earth" sticker.
Gotta go, gotta feed the Javelina and my pet rattlesnake, "Bertha".
PS there is new book out on Wallace Stegner and Edward Abbey by David Gessner, " All the Wild that Remains".
and I hear that Jon's next book is headed here around the first of June.

President Nixon was the greatest president who ever lived.
He ended the draft three months before I graduated from college.
My draft number was 9.
It's the only lottery I've ever won.

So, INPHX, gone to the sleaze factor instead of discussing taxation, and how the rich have gamed the system?

Are you worth 8 figures? If not, you are a damned fool for supporting the really rich.

Or are you a committed red state guy who thinks everything will be better with lower taxes, in our aristo desert paradise?

What I really think is funny is so much that you think will work is destined to fail as it fails the ultimate test- reality.

We are seeing the end of the Reagan Revolution, drowned in Rand Paul unreality along with Ted Cruz simple populism.

It is much harder to be a governor than a senator, which is the failure that I ascribe to the current whitehouse occupant.

Pull up a chair and watch it all play out.

It’s true that the EPA, Clean Air, Voting Rights Act, etc. were implemented with wide and bi-partisan support. But here’s the thing – the same people might not necessarily support the current activities of the agencies created to accomplish the intended aims – and the aims have been largely attained.

Additionally, policies that a person practiced then the same person would not practice today. For example, FDR and the Democratic Party were staunch supporters of segregation. I don’t think “bi-partisan” was in FDR’s vocabulary.

Have to hand it to those tricky mid-westerners. Not only did they brain wash the minds of Texans and Arizonians but also those of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, ……well almost everywhere – except for portions of the Midwest. I guess they were too busy elsewhere.

Since we have Professor Troll with us, perhaps he could explain a few basic economic principles (opinions?) to this poor ignorant soul. For example:
“How much support of the elderly is social security and medicare responsible for increasing spending in the US?”
Or
“You do realize that the federal deficit right now is meaningless? “
Or
“…how our federal debt underpins the entire world trade and financial system”

Well I could go, but this will do for starters.

Troll:

http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data-0

Check out tables 5 and 6.

In 1986, the top 5% paid 42.57% of all federal income taxes.

In 2012, they paid 58.95%

And that excludes the staggering increase in payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, cell phone taxes, and all the others. It also excludes the limits on interest expense, the passive activity limitations, the new Obamacare taxes, but it probably captures the expanded alternative minimum tax.

Boy- that's REALLY gaming the system.

If they can keep it up, maybe they'll pay 80% by 2020!!!


Mitt Romney said 47% pay no federal income tax rate. He was right.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/sep/18/mitt-romney/romney-says-47-percent-americans-pay-no-income-tax/

Ironically Mitt was born into a philosophical sharing society. But they are very discrimintory in that sharing.

An aside: but not of the ballpark. I have read some disturbing things about “workforce participation”. As near as I can tell, the long-term trend is for declining participation. My best information has the rate for white, 40 year old men declining by 5% between 1960 and 2008.
The BLS has this

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

Which is along those lines, but not exactly the same thing. It is the “employed/population (greater than 16) ratio”. Note that the rate has hardly budged since 2010.

My suspicion is that the unemployment rate is actually much higher that popularly reported.

Wkg, it just sounds wrong when people call Arizonans Arizonians. New Mexician sounds kind of exotic, though.

I can get a long list together of Nixon monstrosities. For starters having Kissinger et al sabotage peace talks promising that N. Vietnam would get a better deal- they only got great deal more bombing, and 7 more years of it. He was scum for this and many other reasons. "But, but" you say "CANCER REASEARCH! etc." That was the Nixon who worked in mainstream politics and issues. It helped him to hew to a conventional moral norm and helped make him look sane. Behind the curtain and left to himself and a few cronies he was a very dangerous creep. Were he around today he would find his away to the top of the heap again, and as far to the right fringe as would serve his interests. . And yes, yes, we know about Johnson (per Caro) and so on, but even among the presidents RMN was a particularly vile specimen.

@Pat: Of course you’re right. Arizonaian sounds clunky and Arizonan just right. Can’t say I’ve ever heard Georgian or Georgiaian – I’d go with Georgian, but I’ve only heard it as an English era or an architectural style. It’s definitely Floridian. Can’t say Indianan or Inidanian, both sound wrong – I’d go with “hoosier”. Both Virginian and Virginian sound OK to me. I’ve never heard Alabamian or Alabaman – more typical would be “dumb ass red-neck for Alabama” or more nicely, “a surprisingly literate person from Alabama.”

Given the typos above, I guess I'd have to be the "dumb ass from Alabama."

Lol INPHX, you just gave me the winner, why do the rich pay so much in income taxes? Because the poor make nothing.

"About half of people who don’t pay income taxes are simply poor, and the tax code explicitly exempts them.

"For example, a couple with two children earning less than $26,400 will pay no federal income tax this year because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero," Roberton Williams, a scholar with the Tax Policy Center, wrote last year. "The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax."

WELL, capitalism is really working out well for those folks in their time of leisure.

FOOL. Read your own linked article.

Complaining about how the poor who live on near nothing pay no taxes- the sheer effrontery of people to be so poor!

For WKG:

http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/file/Geneva13.pdf

I would read his book Exorbitant Privilege first to get a better idea of how our debt is turned into financial assets for the rest of the world, and how our trade deficit provides the mechanism for this to occur.

He does a good job of summarizing my viewpoint in his new book : http://hallofmirrorsbook.com/

But hey, INPHX will start up with all of his right shibboleths, and nothing will be understood.

Yeah, and the gold standard is still dead.

Also, don't forget that the poor pay a disproportionately higher share of their income in taxes than the rich. E.g., sales taxes.

We are betting the farm on the US military at the expense of all else. War trumps compassion and care. Wealth trumps poverty. Oligarchy trumps equality in education, wages, healthcare, the law and the Constitution. Religious virtue as cherry picked from various texts trumps the law and the Constitution.

I could care less about the sex lives of politicians or my neighbors or posters on RC. No harm no foul, then its all good. We should pay attention to policy rather than salacious details.

Hank Greenburg got what he deserved (doddering old fool should have retired long ago, but GREED) and even his old company has turned their back on him.

Wallace Stegner rocks as did Nixon putting an end to the draft (I'm also in the 18-month gap between the draft and the postcard).

INPHX- suggest you go to "Front Page" and reference the article on the F-35. $7 billion in cost overruns and counting. This goes all the way back to the "$12 hammer" I think it was, when you could pick one up at the hardware store for $2. Democrats Sam Nunn (D-Mcdonnell Douglas) and Scoop Jackson (D-Boeing) went along for the ride. National defense, fine, but the trillions that are unaccounted for because of the lack of congressional oversight is astounding. (Not to say that trillions are "misspent" necessarily, but that the contractors and their procurers, the lobbyists, know that it's a gold rush.)
When you waste a lot of negative emotion on poor people, pension funds, etc who might be gaming things in a relatively small way, you are doing exactly what the really big cheaters in defense and wall street want you to do.
First, by focusing "wasted tax dollars" in the working class and poor (where there are no doubt problems) you miss the really big waste. (Maybe your portfolio is full of defense industry stocks, in which case there are other issues at play.)
The other aspect to this is ways that personalized resentment and negative emotion get pumped systematically into our politics. One should be wary of it- it's somewhat addictive and ultimately toxic individually and more generally.
If you're really interested in where your tax money disappears as 4/15 rolls around, look to Wall street, wars and defense. You might be surprised by what you find there; what you won't find are ordinary people to kick.

Dawg:

You will never hear me defend the Defense dept in this country. It is wasteful, focused on expanding it's influence and power, bureaucratic, not accountable enough, the list goes on and on and on.

Bush totally blew it when he didn't pass an across the board tax increase to pay for Iraq. Because then maybe we would have all thought a little longer and harder before invading.

This is my main beef. Everyone wants to help the poor, or invade Iraq, or provide medical care, or pay teachers more, or have better fire protection, but no one want to pay for it.

And now we have a deficit equal to 70% of GDP (or so) with no end in sight.

Throw in the states, and its a problem.

I rail a lot about Obamacare, but at least it's supporters included tax increases to try to pay for it.

The Atlanta Fed revised it's 1Q 2015 GDP growth.

To zero.

Why do you think the massive bureaucracies at the EPA or the SEC don't have basically the same agenda as the Dept. of Defense?

@Troll. Thanks to the link to the "Geneva Report". Gave a fast run through - skimming here and there. Depressing info. Their conclusion (for USA) about the same as CBO's. Know that EU had its problems but I'd didn't know it was as bad as it is. Ditto Japan. Obviously all three are important to each other. World needs a strong US economy as much as the US does.

We'd all be better off if all three could get their finances in order.

how does this square up with your “You do realize that the federal deficit right now is meaningless? “ statement?

INPHX- Thanks.
I remember trying to make lemonade the day after Reagan was elected saying "Well maybe he'll put the country back in the black." He didn't. It went much deeper into red.
One way of looking at the "massive deficit" that RR made so much of in the '80 campaign was deferred cost from a little thing called the Vietnam War. Jimmy carter: "Thanks, guys." What Reagan did among other things was to begin readjusting tax rates- with the help of Russell Long (D-Oligarchy)
Another aspect of the debt that's interesting is that so many have made a lot of money playing with the big credit card that is our national debt. I think that it's time that the major beneficiaries of this dynamic started paying more taxes. Do you? Who was the billionaire who let it slip somewhere that his tax rate was the same as his secretary's? There are uncounted sources of tax money that are being moved offshore, by "legal" means and otherwise. (Thanks, Burger King, et al.) How about getting some of that back?
Oh, I remember now, the billionaire was Warren Buffett and he thought that that state of affairs was wrong.
The solution to the very real problem of national debt that you pose would necessarily involve increased taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, if the debt is to be ameliorated at all.
The optics of doing so are distorted ("well we can't do that because x, y and z.") because the rule have been tweaked to make it seem so. Change the rules.
This aspect of "shared sacrificed," alas, will not be realized. There will be billionaires and many who've done nothing except inherit piles of money who will be paying lower real tax rates than I will she I go to see Lyle the tax guy this afternoon. This will continue to be the case.
This is still among the wealthiest countries in history, and we're seriously looking at letting retired people who've done everything "right" their whole lives take a hit as "shared sacrifice?" I work with people who just weren't born with either the innate capacity to cut it in this world, our who had it beaten out of them if it ever existed. Do we consign them to the streets? Apparently so.
If the country ever had a "soul," it's vanished. The USA seems to have become a money making animal for capitalism gone amok, and it will knackered by the stateless corporation who are milking and butchering it when it no longer produces enough cash. Bet on it.

South Korea is beginning to tank too. Domestic spending is way down there but forecasts are saying 3% annual growth for now.

Regarding what is politically possible today versus yesterday in Arizona:

phxSUNSfan wrote:

"(Arizona) has been covering low-income childless adults since 2001, providing the same benefit package that is available to other Medicaid beneficiaries, with no ceiling on enrollment."

That changed with a freeze on enrollment by childless adults in 2011. Childless adults only recently regained the ability to enroll in Medicaid through Obamacare-related expansion of Medicaid.

That expansion was passed in the House by all 24 Democrats and 9 Republicans, with 27 Republicans voting against. It was passed in the Senate by all 13 Democrats and 5 Republicans with 11 Republicans voting against.

So, fully 1/4 of House Republicans, and about 1/3 of Senate Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the Medicaid expansion.

This tells me that bipartisanship is still possible. The real blockage is procedural rules which allow a single Republican leader of the House or Senate to prevent legislation from ever coming to a vote.

In the present case, Governor Brewer, a Republican, forced the issue. First she threatened to veto all bills not dealing with Medicaid expansion, then followed through on the threat.

Then, when the legislature adjourned to avoid the issue, she used executive authority to call a legislative special session abruptly, without the consent or even knowledge of conservative Republican leaders opposed to the expansion.

Special procedural rules were used to get the legislature to a floor vote.

Though the Republican senate president opposed allowing a vote, Republicans supporting a vote included the Republican majority whip.

The governor was supported by a powerful coalition of healthcare companies who are Arizona's largest private sector employers and whose political lobbying carries financial weight.

All of this despite ALEC and a radical Republican majority control of both houses of the state legislature.

Regarding the composition of Arizona kooks and the theory of midwestern migration, I'd like to see some documentation.

Regarding tax burdens and tax fairness:

INPHX wrote:

"In 1986, the top 5% paid 42.57% of all federal income taxes. In 2012, they paid 58.95%."

Part of the reason that they pay a greater share of income taxes today is that their share of income has increased. From the early 1980s to just before the Great Recession, the top 1 percent alone increased their share of income (including capital gains) from about 10 percent of national personal income to about 25 percent.

http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/alvaredo-atkinson-piketty-saezJEP13top1percent.pdf

The gains in income share by the top 5 percent are even larger. So your 16.5 percentage point increase in their share of personal income taxes is suddenly less objectionable.

But the real elephant in the room that nobody talks about is the fact that personal income taxes provide the federal government with less than half of its revenues (roughly 40 percent net of personal capital gains taxes). Pie chart:

http://www.factcheck.org/2008/06/breakdown-of-government-revenue/

So if you want to talk about who pays the taxes, you have to talk about all federal tax revenues, not just the personal income taxes.

The Reagan era massive payroll tax increase was a burden born primarily by the working and middle classes, not the top, for several reasons.

First, income subject to payroll taxes is capped. (The nature and extent of capping has changed over the years. For example, Social Security taxes currently have an income cap of $118,500.) Income above the cap isn't subject to payroll taxes at all; so very little of the earned income at the top of the food chain is even taxable through payroll taxes, because most of it is above the cap.

Second, most of the income of the top households isn't earned income: it's capital gains, stock dividends, rent, interest, and so forth; and none of that is subject to payroll taxes or (in many cases) even to the progressive personal income tax. Dividends and capital gains from assets held a year or longer are subject to a low flat tax of 15 to 20 percent depending on the income bracket.

http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/articles/Taxes-Whats-New

The massive Reagan era telecommunications tax increase (thank Reagan every time you notice how much of your phone bill consists of funny ad hoc federal taxes and fees) also primarily fell on the shoulders of ordinary folk because the tax is flat, so 95% of the increased tax burden is paid by the bottom 95%.

At least a third of all federal revenues are accounted for by payroll taxes alone. So conservatives should stop using that "47 percent pay no income tax" line (now 43 percent) to suggest that they don't share the federal tax burden.

About 14 percent pay neither income nor payroll taxes. Of these, about 2/3 are elderly (retirees don't pay payroll taxes and poor retirees don't owe personal income taxes) and most of the rest are impoverished.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/federal-taxes-households.cfm

Determining the share of total federal taxes paid by groups (e.g., the top 1 percent) is one way of examining tax burdens and fairness. Another way is to look at what percentage of the income of these groups is paid in federal taxes. These are two different statistics.

A couple essentials. First, you need to determine for any particular group (say, the top 1 percent) total income from all sources.

Good luck with that. IRS data on taxable income massively understates the gross income of the top 1 percent, in part because gold-plated CPAs and legal advisors provide deductions, credits, and shelters not available to the common man, so that much of their gross income isn't reported as taxable income.

Additionally, a 1 percenter's income may be largely disguised as corporate income through an investment firm owned by him (or by a trust controlled by him), or by him and his cronies. There is a reason why there are so many tiny but wealthy private hedge funds.

Also note that there is a great deal of simple tax avoidance at the top end, using numbered offshore accounts and other structures (some of which are far more complicated than secret bank accounts in the Caribbean and discrete European principalities).

Once you have figured actual gross income (not just taxable gross income or reported taxable gross income), you have to determine the effective tax rate: that's the figure which tells you how much of someone's income is paid in federal taxes of all kinds.

That means figuring out how much is taxable as capital gains and dividends and at what rate, how much is taxable as earned income using progressive income taxes, and how much is subject to payroll taxes below the cap; and so forth.

Even laying aside unmeasurables like out and out tax avoidance, it's difficult if not impossible to find good information on the top 1 percent; and the top 1 percent, being the lion's share of the top 5 percent, distorts those statistics too.

One thing is for sure: available studies typically vastly understate the total gross income at the top and as a result vastly overstate their tax burden.

Compared to ordinary households, a huge portion of the gross income of the top 1 percent isn't taxable income; of income that is taxable, a huge portion is taxed at low rates (e.g. capital gains, not progressive income tax rates); and a huge amount of income simply goes unreported to the government, period.

P.S. Hedge funds structured as limited liability companies (for example) are not technically corporations: they get corporate-like limitation of liability while avoiding corporate "double taxation".

Regarding Reagan-era tax cuts and federal revenue increases:

Bruce Bartlett, an American historian whose area of expertise is supply-side economics, who served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush, estimates that "Reagan took back about half the 1981 tax cut with subsequent tax increases". Article with tables and figures:

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/2154/reagans-forgotten-tax-record

Reagan was elected in November 1980 and was sworn in January 1981. Federal fiscal year 1981 began October 1, 1980, so it overlaps closely with Reagan's first calender year as a sitting president.

The big Reagan income tax cut occurred early (1981) and the Reagan tax increases occurred later and didn't begin to take effect until 1984 or so.

Federal revenues from FY 1981 through 1981 through 1985 were anemic. In inflation adjusted dollars using 2009 as a base year for dollars, receipts decreased and didn't recover to the FY 1981 level until 1985. They didn't surpass the 1981 level until 1986.

That pretty much disproves the idea that tax cuts resulted in revenue increased. See Table 1.3:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

"Regarding the composition of Arizona kooks and the theory of midwestern migration, I'd like to see some documentation." -Emil

I do have to admit that the theory of Midwestern migration and the transition to kookdom has largely been based on anecdotal evidence. However, for those of us that have followed trends a pattern does emerge.

Before 2005, and largely before 2000, most of Arizona's emigrants were from California and other western states. These were decades that saw Arizona shift somewhat to the left politically with election results eliciting fears of the "Californication" of the state and the "Los Angelization" of Phoenix.
Interactive Map: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/upshot/mapping-migration-in-the-united-states-since-1900.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

That began to change in 2005 when migration patterns saw an increasing number of emigrants form the Midwest. Many of those emigrants have been retirees which are amongst the most reliable voters in the state. Given that the number of "foreign born" Arizona residents has risen to 15% of the population, this makes the retiree voting bloc significant.
Interactive Map: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/08/13/upshot/where-people-in-each-state-were-born.html?rref=upshot&abt=0002&abg=0#Arizona

Interestingly, the senior citizen poll referenced above regarding the 2008 Presidential Election gave McCain an 8 point advantage over Obama with seniors 65 and older. Obama eventually lost Arizona to McCain by 8.48 points.

A foreshadowing of things to come occurred in 2005. Follwoing 2005 Arpaio's stance on immigration radicalized.
http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/8373

One particular controversy would forever reshape Arpaio's policy on immigration:

"When an Army reservist named Patrick Haab held a group of immigrants at gunpoint in the desert in 2005, Arpaio had Haab arrested.

'Being illegal is not a serious crime,' Arpaio said.

Then-County Attorney Andrew Thomas' decision not to prosecute Haab drew public support, creating a backlash against Arpaio. The result: The Sheriff's Office began assigning deputies to target human smugglers the following year.
http://archive.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/20111218joe-arpaio-controversies-success.html#ixzz3WD50D3a4


Typo correction. I wrote:

"Federal revenues from FY 1981 through 1981 through 1985 were anemic."

That should read:

"Federal revenues from FY 1981 through 1985 were anemic."

I wrote:

"That pretty much disproves the idea that tax cuts resulted in revenue increased."

That should read:

"That pretty much disproves the idea that tax cuts resulted in revenue increases."

I was about to lose the previous online session and had to save the comment quickly to avoid losing it.

Here's a corrected copy:

Regarding Reagan-era tax cuts and federal revenue increases:

Bruce Bartlett, an American historian whose area of expertise is supply-side economics, who served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush, estimates that "Reagan took back about half the 1981 tax cut with subsequent tax increases". Article with tables and figures:

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/2154/reagans-forgotten-tax-record

Reagan was elected in November 1980 and was sworn in January 1981. Federal fiscal year 1981 began October 1, 1980, so it overlaps closely with Reagan's first calender year as a sitting president.

The big Reagan income tax cut occurred early (1981) and the Reagan tax increases occurred later and the biggest didn't begin to take effect until 1984 or so.

Federal revenues from FY 1981 through 1985 were anemic. In inflation adjusted dollars using 2009 as a base year for dollars, receipts decreased and didn't recover to the FY 1981 level until 1985. They didn't surpass the 1981 level until 1986.

That pretty much disproves the idea that tax cuts resulted in revenue increases. See Table 1.3:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

Thanks phxSUNSfan.

If I understand correctly, only 15 percent of Arizona residents were born in other states. Of those, many came from California and other western states. Right away we see that substantially fewer than 15 percent of Arizona residents came from the Midwest. Now subtract Midwest migrants who came as children with their families and are not voting age. Next consider that Democrats control the legislatures of some Midwest states (e.g., Illinois). Finally, factor in that some adult Midwest migrants are working families not retirees and might not have dedicated voting habits like some elderly do.

What percentage of Republican elderly Midwest active voters does that leave among Arizona registered voters? Or even adult Midwest Republican voters?

Not sure you made your case this time.

Native-born population based on the 2010 Census:

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/census-migration-homegrown-populations-for-cities-states.html

https://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-07.pdf

Emil, not quite due to the fact that only 38% of Arizona residents were born in-state. Subtracting foreign born residents, 47% of Arizona residents were born in other states. Of that 47%, 17% are from the Midwest, 16% are from the West, 8% from the Northeast, and 6% from the South.

Breaking down which states (liberal vs conservative) from the Midwest contribute to the greatest number of emigrants, we see that only Illinois and Minnesota have legislatures controlled by Democrats and have contributed to 5% of emigration. The other 10 states (IN, MI, KS, NE, IA, WI, ND, SD, MO, OH) are all states with Republican controlled legislatures and constitute greater than 12% of emigrants.

I'll have to look into weather or not children from the Midwest constitute a large portion of emigrants to Arizona. Since most of the emigrants tend to be White, it is highly probably that childless adults (retirees, singles, etc.) are by far the largest segment in this population (non-Hispanic Whites have the lowest birthrates in the country).

Beyond that, determining what percentage of Republican elderly Midwest active voters are among registered voters in Arizona would be quite the challenge. I'll see what I can come up with. In the time being, I will start with this information:

"However, retiree migrations tend to be geographically concentrated. Because of their geographic concentration, retiree migrations create disproportionate effects in sending and receiving areas. That may be one reason why retiree migrations are also so prominent in the academic literature on internal migration.

A few states stand out for receiving retirees, namely Florida, Nevada, Arizona, South Carolina, and Delaware."
https://medium.com/migration-issues/how-migration-in-america-changes-as-we-age-ef0117d0593d

My .
mistake, phxSUNSfan. When you wrote that 15% of Arizona residents are foreign born, you put "foreign born" in quotes. This led me to think that you were using the phrase figuratively and meant residents who were born in another state. When you mean another country, there is no need for quotes since the phrase means literally what it says.

Since my critique was based on a misapprehension, I withdraw it.

Emil, no worries. I left the quotes around foreign born because I was initially going to conflate the topic by discussing the definition of foreign born which isn't as straight forward as it sounds. I then took out that part as it became too tangential for the discussion at hand.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)